EAA, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University


This timeline includes selected events in business technology, media, marketing, and advertising for the decades covered by this project. Sources used for this timeline are included in the EAA Bibliography.

1850s | 1860s | 1870s | 1880s | 1890s |
1900 - 1904 | 1905 - 1909 | 1910 - 1914 | 1915 - 1920 |


  • 1841 - Volney B. Palmer opens the first American advertising agency, in Philadelphia.

  • 1850 - Advertising in the New York Tribune doubles between October 1849 and October 1850.
  • 1850 - Phineas T. Barnum brings Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale" to America, employing newspaper ads, handbills, and broadsides to drum up extraordinary interest in this, until now, unknown-to-Americans international singing star. From being relatively anonymous six months prior to her arrival, she is met at the docks by 30,000 New Yorkers - a result of Barnum's advertising campaign.
  • 1851 - I. M. Singer and Company takes out its first patent for the Singer Perpendicular Action Sewing Machine.
  • 1851 - The first issue of the New York Times (under the name "New-York Daily Times") is published.
  • 1851 -Benjamin Bratt is the first to manufacture and mass-market soap in bar form.
  • 1852 - First advertisement for Smith Brother's Cough Candy (drops) appears in a Poughkeepsie, New York paper - the two brothers in the illustration are named "Trade" and "Mark."
  • 1853 - A Boston court rules that Singer infringed on Elias B. Howe's 1846 sewing machine patent, and Singer pays Howe $15,000 in the settlement.
  • 1853 - Railroad lines reach west as far as the Mississippi River.
  • 1856 - Mathew Brady advertises his services of "photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes" in the New York Herald paper. His inventive use of type in the ad goes against the newspaper industry standard of all-agate and all same-size type used for advertisements in the papers.
  • 1856 - Robert Bonner is the first to run a full-page ad in a paper, advertising his own literary paper, the New York Ledger.
  • 1858 - First Transatlantic cable laid, between Ireland and Newfoundland.

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  • 1860 - 33,000 patents are issued between 1850 - 1860; only 6,000 patents had been issued in the previous decade.
  • 1861 - The first Sunday edition of the re-named New-York Times is published, capitalizing on interest in news of the Civil War.
  • 1861 - There are twenty advertising agencies in New York City.
  • 1863 - James W. Tufts builds and patents a soda-fountain machine for use in his Boston drugstore.
  • 1864 - William James Carlton begins selling advertising space in newspapers, founding the agency that later became the J. Walter Thompson Company, the oldest American advertising agency in continuous existence.
  • 1865 - George P. Rowell and his friend Horace Dodd open their advertising agency in Boston.
  • 1866 - Transatlantic cable becomes operational.
  • 1867 - The magazine Harper's Bazaar premieres.
  • 1867 - Lord & Taylor is the first company to use double-column advertising in newspapers.
  • 1868 - Vanity Fair magazine begins.
  • 1869 - N. W. Ayer and Sons advertising agency is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the following year begins advertising its own agency in both general and trade publications.
  • 1869 - E. C. Allan starts the People's Literary Companion, marking the beginning of the "mail-order" periodical.
  • 1869 - The first advertisement for Sapolio soap is published.
  • 1869 - George P. Rowell issues the first Rowell's American Newspaper Directory, providing advertisers with information on the estimated circulation of papers and thus helping to standardize value for space in advertising.
  • 1860s - Advertising begins to appear in nationally distributed monthly magazines.

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  • 1870 - Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe) appears in a Harper's Weekly advertisement endorsing Waltham watches.
  • 1870 - The Boardwalk in Atlantic City is completed.
  • 1870 - Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., makers of Vaseline, is founded.
  • 1870 - 5,091 newspapers are in circulation, compared to 715 in 1830.
  • 1871 - 121 brand names and trademarks are registered with the US Patent Office.
  • 1872 - Montgomery Ward begins mail order business with the issue of its first catalog.
  • 1872 - The Associated Press extends its news service to 200 papers.
  • 1875 - 1,138 brand names and trademarks are registered with the US Patent Office.
  • 1875 - The Sholes and Glidden typewriter, made by the Remington Co., is first advertised in New York papers; the first successfully selling typewriter, the "Remington No. 2," appears in 1878.
  • 1876 - Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
  • 1877 - The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 occurs. The labor unrest spreads across the country, affecting freight traffic.
  • 1877 - The Washington Post newspaper begins publication with a circulation of 10,000, costing 3 cents a paper.
  • 1878 - Thomas Edison secures basic patent for a phonograph machine.
  • 1878 - J. Walter Thompson buys out William J. Carlton's small ad agency and renames it after himself.
  • 1878 - The American Cereal Co. introduces Quaker Oats as the first mass-marketed breakfast food.
  • 1879 - Ivory soap is named, four years after the formula was accidentally discovered at Procter & Gamble.
  • 1879 - George Eastman patents a process for making dry photographic plates.
  • 1879 - Frank Woolworth opens his first "five and dime" store.
  • 1879 - John Wanamaker places the first whole-page newspaper advertisement by an American department store.
  • 1870s - Charles E. Hires begins advertising Hires Root Beer in the Philadelphia Ledger, expanding over the next two decades into national magazines.
  • 1870s - $1 million dollars is spent annually advertising Lydia Pinkham's Pink Pills.
  • 1870s - Louis Prang, a lithographer and printer, develops the idea of mass-producing small "trade cards" that could be adapted to the needs of individual advertisers at low cost. Thread companies, such as Clark's O.N.T., are among the first to begin nationwide distribution of advertising trade cards.
  • 1870s - In response to the high volume of outdoor advertising (including posters and signs painted on rocks, buildings and barns) in cities and rural areas, several states begin to impose limitations to protect natural scenery from sign painters.

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  • 1880 - Singer Sewing Machines and McCormick Reapers begin to dominate their respective markets.
  • 1880 - John Wanamaker hires John E. Powers, who brings a fresh style to advertising - an honest, direct and fresh appeal emphasizing the style, elegance, comfort and luxury of products. Powers is later called "the father of honest advertising."
  • 1881 - James Bonsack develops an efficient cigarette-rolling machine; until this point cigarettes (like cigars) have been rolled by hand.
  • 1883 - James B. Duke leases the Bonsack rolling machines. This contract ensures that his cost to manufacture cigarettes will be 25% below his competitors.
  • 1883 - Ladies Home Journal and Life Magazine begin publication.
  • 1884 - Linotype machine invented, advancing the use of color in printing.
  • 1885 - The Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1885 - New postal regulations reduce the cost of second class mailing to one cent per pound, allowing an almost immediate increase in the number of new subscription-based periodicals.
  • 1886 - Coca-Cola is invented in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr. John S. Pemberton. Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, penned the name Coca-Cola in the flowing script that is still used in advertising today.
  • 1886 - Cosmopolitan magazine begins.
  • 1886 - Sears, Roebuck & Company begins mail-order business.
  • 1887 - Introduction of the "safety bicycle," which had wheels of equal size.
  • 1887 - Congress enacts the Interstate Commerce Act.
  • 1888 - Printer's Ink, the oldest, most prestigious and largest magazine targeted to advertisers, agencies and copywriters is founded by George P. Rowell.
  • 1888 - Eastman begins advertising the first hand-held Kodak camera.
  • 1888 - Congress establishes the Department of Labor.
  • 1889 - James B. Duke spends 20 per cent of the gross sale of his tobacco company earnings ($80,000) towards advertising.
  • 1889 - Munsey's magazine is started.
  • 1880s - Illustrated trade cards reach the height of their popularity, not only with advertisers but also with the American public, which becomes remarkably interested in collecting them.

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  • 1890 - The American Tobacco Company is founded, absorbing over 200 hundred rival firms, and gains control of the cigarette and smoking tobacco industries.
  • 1890 - Literary Digest begins publication.
  • 1890 - J. Walter Thompson Company's billings total over one million dollars.
  • 1890 - The Sherman Anti-Trust Act becomes the first legislation enacted by the United States Congress to curb concentrations of power that interfere with trade and reduce economic competition. It is named for U.S. senator John Sherman, an expert on the regulation of commerce.
  • 1891 - The precursor organization to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) is created under the name Associated Bill Posters Association of United States and Canada. OAAA is not used as the organizational name until 1925.
  • 1891 - Batten and Co. advertising agency is founded by George Batten in New York, merging with another agency in 1928 to form Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne (BBDO).
  • 1891 - Nathan Fowler, in Advertising Age, recommends that because women make most of the purchasing decisions of their household, manufacturers would do well to direct their advertising messages to them.
  • 1892 - Artemus Ward, advertising for Sapolio Soap, sponsors a Captain Andrews' trans-Atlantic voyage in a 14 foot boat to celebrate Columbus' voyage 400 years earlier. The voyage takes 3 months to complete and is widely followed and reported on in the press, providing free advertising for Sapolio soap.
  • 1892 - Vogue magazine begins publication.
  • 1892 -Sears, Roebuck & Co. mails out 8,000 post cards with imitation handwriting across the country. 2,000 orders are received directly from this promotional campaign.
  • 1892 - The Ladies Home Journal announces it will no longer accept patent medicine advertising.
  • 1893 - McClure's Magazine begins publication.
  • 1893 - The Royal Baking Powder Co. is estimated be the biggest newspaper advertiser in the world.
  • 1894 - The R. C. Maxwell Company, the oldest existing outdoor advertising company in America, is created. The company concentrates primarily in the Middle Atlantic states.
  • 1895 - Fred Pabst, president of Pabst Brewing Company, predicts in an essay that beer will become the national beverage of the United States.
  • 1895 - The first US patent for a gasoline powered automobile is given to Charles Duryea.
  • 1895 - The first American automobile race is run from Chicago to Evanston, Illinois and back. Two out of six cars finish the 54 mile long race, with a winning time of 7 hours, 53 minutes. The winner, Charles E. Duryea, that same year places what may be the first automobile advertisement ever, in The Horseless Carriage
  • 1896 - The Monarch Bicycle Company spends $125,000 on advertising, including $10,000 for a bicycle racing crew that tours the country participating in bicycle races under the Monarch name. The company sells 50,000 bicycles in 1896, up from 1,200 sold in 1893.
  • 1896 - J. Walter Thompson Company begins using the Rock of Gibraltar in its advertising for Prudential Insurance Co.
  • 1896 - Full color lithographic advertising prints for Ivory Soap are sent directly from specialty printers to magazine publishers, who bind them into magazines. This practice is soon taken up by other manufacturers.
  • 1896 - The Duryea Motor Wagon opens Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth at Madison Square Garden in New York.
  • 1898 - The Pepsi-Cola formula is created by Caleb Bradham, a New Bern, NC druggist.
  • 1898 - N. W. Ayer & Sons begin using outdoor advertising.
  • 1898 - The National Biscuit Company is founded, and immediately begins advertising its Uneeda Biscuit, employing the N. W. Ayer & Sons advertising agency for a campaign that became very successful.
  • 1899 - J. Walter Thompson Company opens a London office, possibly the first international office of an American advertising agency.
  • 1899 - Eighty companies are making, or preparing to make, automobiles.
  • 1890s - Advertisements for alcohol - wines, liqueurs, and whiskeys - are placed in popular national magazines, such as Harper's Weekly.
  • 1890s - Women are depicted outside the home in a non-domestic setting for the first time in bicycle ads.
  • 1890s - Advertising manuals increasingly recommend the use of post cards as a low cost means of direct communication with consumers.

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1900 - 1904

  • 1900 - The Singer Sewing Machine wins Grand Prize for sewing machines at the 1900 Paris Exposition
  • 1900 - The population of the US, at 76 million, is now almost double that in 1870.
  • 1900 - The first of the famous Brownie Cameras was introduced. It sold for $1 and used film which sold for 15 cents a roll.
  • 1900 - Over 4,000 passenger cars are sold in America.
  • 1901 - Coca-Cola advertising budget is $100,000.
  • 1901 - Henry Ford defeats Alexander Winton (the winner of an earlier road race from Cleveland to New York) in a ten-mile race at Grosse Pointe, Michigan. The publicity from this event persuades Ford to begin constructing new race cars.
  • 1901 - The Eastman Kodak Company of New Jersey, the present parent company for Kodak, is formed.
  • 1901 - The Sylvania Electric Company is incorporated.
  • 1901 - United States Steel Company is incorporated through the merger of ten companies. It is the world's largest industrial corporation.
  • 1901 - The Quaker Oats Company is incorporated.
  • 1901 - Oldsmobile creates the first assembly line, and with the production of the Curved Dash automobile, Oldsmobile becomes the first mass producer of gasoline cars.
  • 1901 - The National Bureau of Standards is established to make weights and measures of consumer products more consistent.
  • 1901 - King Camp Gillette begins manufacturing the modern safety razor.
  • 1901 - The Pan-American Exposition, a celebration of US global economic power, opens in Buffalo, New York. President McKinley is shot at the Expo on 6 September by immigrant anarchist Leon Czolgosz and dies 14 September. Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as president.
  • 1901 - The Victor Talking Machine Company acquires the American rights to the famous painting of the dog Nipper listening to a phonograph with the caption "His Master's Voice" and begins using the image in advertisements. RCA, which bought the Victor Company in the 1920s, still uses Nipper in ads.
  • 1901 - The oil gusher Spindletop blasts near Beaumont, Texas, establishing the petroleum industry in Texas.
  • 1902 - British Phillip Morris opens its New York headquarters to market cigarette brands, such as Marlboro.
  • 1902 - The Kodak Developing Machine simplifies the processing of roll film and makes developing possible without a darkroom.
  • 1902 - Alfred Erickson opens his own advertising agency, The Erickson Company, at the age of 25; his first clients include Bon Ami and American Coal Tar Company.
  • 1902 - The Pepsi-Cola Company is incorporated.
  • 1902 - The Sherman Antitrust Act is used for the first time against the Northern Securities Company, formed by a railroad merger.
  • 1902 - Packard begins use of the long-lasting slogan "Ask the man who owns one."
  • 1902 - The Anthracite Coal Strike begins and lasts five months, nearly crippling the nation. The United Mine Workers' demands include union representation, wage increases of 20 percent, and eight-hour workdays.
  • 1902 - Unilever hires the J. Walter Thompson Company for advertising Lifebuoy Soap and later Lux and other products in America. Unilever is still with J. Walter Thompson and represents the oldest client relationship in the advertising industry.
  • 1902 - The state of Maryland passes a workers' compensation law, the nation's first.
  • 1902 - The famous 'Drawing the Line in Mississippi' political cartoon appears in The Washington Post and the Washington Evening Star, depicting Teddy Roosevelt's refusal to participate in the staged killing of a bear on a hunting expedition. The cartoon is the impetus for the creation of the teddy bear and the first US manufacturer of toy bears, the Ideal Toy and Novelty Company.
  • 1903 - The Department of Commerce and Labor is created by Congress.
  • 1903 - The Wright brothers make their first sustained manned flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1903 - President Theodore Roosevelt inaugurates the first Pacific communication cable by sending a message around the world and receiving it twelve minutes later.
  • 1904 - Cigarette coupons are first used as a draw for a new chain of tobacco stores.
  • 1904 - The "Campbell's Kids" are created by Grace Weidersein. These images are still used in Campbell's Soup advertising with few modifications to the present day.
  • 1904 - Phonograph rolls, a new use of one of Thomas Edison's inventions for sound recording, become a popular form of entertainment in American homes.
  • 1904 - Sapolio soap becomes a popular name brand and an early example of the growing influence of advertising campaigns on public consumption.

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1905 - 1909

  • 1905 - The American Tobacco Company acquires R.A. Patterson's Lucky Strike Company.
  • 1905 - Comedians Fatty Arbuckle and Harry Bulget, along with actor John Mason, become the first popular entertainers to appear in cigarette advertisements when they sing the praises (in print) of Murad Cigarettes.
  • 1905 - Madame C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove) perfects and markets a hair straightener for black women. The success of the product makes Walker a prominent businesswoman in the black community.
  • 1905 - N. W. Ayer & Sons agency decides against advertising patent medicines, as federal regulation of the products looms.
  • 1905 - The Rotary Club, the first business-related service organization, is founded in Chicago.
  • 1905 - Old Dutch Cleanser enters the market, competing with and displacing Sapolio as the premier cleaner.
  • 1906 - The Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company is formed.
  • 1906 - R. J. Reynolds introduces Prince Albert pipe tobacco.
  • 1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt dedicates Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument in the US.
  • 1906 - The First Annual Advertising Show opens in New York City, initiating the "age of advertising."
  • 1906 - The Victrola phonograph is introduced by the Victor Talking Machine Company.
  • 1906 - The Pure Food and Drug Act, prohibiting the mislabeling or adulteration of food in interstate and foreign commerce, is passed.
  • 1906 - New Jersey passes the first law requiring the licensing of automobile operators.
  • 1907 - Bull Durham tobacco ads on New York City Fifth Avenue buses and trolleys cause a commotion due to the "male-obvious" depiction of the bull in the ads; the drivers are arrested and the pictures confiscated due to the offensive nature of the illustrations. The legal case eventually goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
  • 1907 - The Justice Department files anti-trust charges against the American Tobacco Company.
  • 1907 - Florenz Ziegfeld's musical stage extravaganzas, the Follies, begin in New York City.
  • 1907 - Canada Dry ginger ale is first produced.
  • 1908 - Eastman Kodak produces the world's first practical safety film using cellulose acetate instead of the highly flammable cellulose nitrate base.
  • 1908 - General Motors Company is incorporated.
  • 1908 - The Hoover vacuum is patented.
  • 1908 - Airplane advertising is used for the first time, to promote a Broadway play.
  • 1908 - General Electric patents the electric iron and toaster.
  • 1908 - The "directoire" or "sheath" dress arrives from Paris. The first woman in Chicago to wear one has to be rescued from the crowd by police, but despite difficulties in walking, slim dresses without petticoats become popular. Also popular is the song "Katie Keath, she wears a sheath/ With very little underneath." The first fishnet stockings arrive from Paris in this year as well.
  • 1908 - The Wright brothers sign their first contract for the delivery of a plane, establishing the record of a bid-to-contract time frame of five days.
  • 1908 - The Ford Motor Company unveils the Model T at $825, beginning the automobile age for the masses.
  • 1908 - Truman A. DeWeese begins one of the earliest books on advertising principles by assessing the relationship between advertising, manufacturers, and middlemen.
  • 1909 - The National Negro Committee is founded by W. E. B. Du Bois.
  • 1909 - The invention of Bakelite plastic is announced by Leo H. Bakeland, a Belgian-born American inventor. The new product will lead to affordable plastic containers and appliances.
  • 1909 - The Wright brothers deliver their first plane to the Signal Corps at a cost of $30,000.
  • 1909 - The "Uprising of Thirty Thousand," a garment workers' strike, erupts in New York City. It is the first female-dominated (more than 80 percent of strikers are women) mass action. After fourteen weeks the workers win. The victory establishes the International Ladies Garment Workers Union as a powerful force in the labor movement.

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1910 - 1914

  • 1910 - Electrical current for domestic residencies becomes standardized. Electrical appliance prices fall markedly over the next 20 years.
  • 1910 - Over 181,000 passenger cars are sold in America.
  • 1910 - US cigarette production and consumption overtakes cigars for the first time.
  • 1910 - John Wanamaker opens a twelve-story department store in Philadelphia, the most monumental commercial structure in the world at the time.
  • 1910 - $600 million is spent on advertising by big business; this represents 4% of the national income.
  • 1910 - The National Negro Committee becomes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • 1910 - The tango, sweeping Europe with its South American flavor, begins to catch on in New York City ballrooms.
  • 1911 - American Tobacco Company controls 92% of world's tobacco business.
  • 1911 - Antitrust action against the American Tobacco Company breaks it into several major companies: American Tobacco Company, R. J. Reynolds, Liggett & Meyers Tobacco Company, Lorillard, and British American Tobacco.
  • 1911 - Air conditioning is invented.
  • 1911 - The Supreme Court rules that Standard Oil Company of New Jersey must be dissolved under antitrust laws.
  • 1911 - The Taft administration files a suit against the United States Steel Company under the Sherman Antitrust Act, in spite of Theodore Roosevelt's earlier pledge to J.P. Morgan that such a suit would not be brought.
  • 1911 - A fire sweeps through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in lower Manhattan, killing 145 workers, most of them young girls. The factory's owners are indicted for manslaughter due to unsafe working conditions.
  • 1911 - A new macadam track at the Indianapolis Speedway is inaugurated with a five-hundred-mile race, the first Indianapolis 500.
  • 1911 - The New York City Association of Advertising Agencies is formed.
  • 1912 - Liggett & Myers introduces Chesterfield brand cigarettes with the slogan "They do satisfy."
  • 1912 - The Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage, killing 1,518 passengers and crew.
  • 1912 - Crowds swarm New York's Times Square to see the World Series score on the new electric bulletin board of the New York Times.
  • 1913 - The REO car company sells the 'Reo the Fifth' for $1,095. The top, windshield, lighting and starting systems are all optional.
  • 1913 - Camel cigarettes are first marketed by R. J. Reynolds.
  • 1913 - The New York World publishes the first crossword puzzle.
  • 1913 - The Federal Reserve System is created. All national banks are required to join the system.
  • 1913 - The Woolworth Building opens in New York City, at a height of 792 feet.
  • 1913 - The Sixteenth Amendment, giving Congress the power to tax personal incomes without apportionment among the states, is adopted.
  • 1913 - Henry Ford opens the first moving assembly line for cars in Highland Park, Michigan. It can produce a Model T in three hours.
  • 1914 - Hollywood, California, becomes the center of motion picture production in the US when filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille establishes his studio there, and other producers follow.
  • 1914 - Henry Ford announces he will pay his employees a minimum of five dollars a day and inaugurate three eight-hour shifts. But to qualify for the new wage, workers must answer questions about their home lives and habits from Ford's new Sociological Department.
  • 1914 - Congress passes a resolution to celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May.
  • 1914 - The Federal Trade Commission is established.
  • 1914 - The Panama Canal is officially opened.
  • 1914 - The first full-length feature comedy motion picture, Tillie's Punctured Romance, stars Marie Dresser, Mabel Normand, and newcomer Charlie Chaplin.
  • 1910s - There is a phenomenal growth in the retail industry, mirroring the vast increase in mass production.
  • 1910s - Millions of dollars are spent by companies on advertising and public relations to stimulate consumer buying.
  • 1910s - Women begin to wield power in labor unions, especially in the garment industry.
  • 1910s - Modern market research begins. As a result, ads become increasingly targeted to specific audiences.

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1915 - 1920

  • 1915 - The Franz Premier Electric Cleaner is advertised for $25. It weighs 9 pounds, an improvement over the 1913 Bissell Electric Suction Cleaner which weighed 33 pounds.
  • 1915 - The taxicab makes its first appearance in American cities. Service costs a nickel and the popularity of cabs leads to the development of intercity bus lines.
  • 1915 - The first transcontinental telephone line opens for service from New York City to San Francisco.
  • 1915 - The first transatlantic radiotelephone communication is made from Arlington, Virginia to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • 1916 - Auto and truck production in the United States exceeds one million new vehicles this year. The average cost of a new car is slightly more than $600, but Ford's model T sells for $360. Half a million Model T's roll off the lines in 1916. There are more than 3.5 million cars on the road.
  • 1916 - Trade both within the US and with foreign countries sets all-time highs. Domestic commerce generates $45 billion, and exports top $8 billion.
  • 1916 - The self-service concept in retailing is invented by the Piggly Wiggly chain of grocery stores.
  • 1916 - Boeing Aircraft Company designs and produces its first model, the biplane.
  • 1916 - James Walter Thompson retires at 69 and sells his agency to Stanley B. Resor and partners.
  • 1917 - A massive advertising campaign for Lucky Strike tobacco gets underway, employing the slogan "It's Toasted."
  • 1917 - To support recruiting efforts and promote sales of war bonds and stamps during World War I, thousands of advertisers feature war themes in their campaigns while the media contribute space. By 1919, contributions total $2.5 billion.
  • 1917 - The Liberty Loan Act is adopted. It provides for the public sale of bonds and the extension of loans to Allied Powers.
  • 1917 - Maj. Gen. John J. "Blackjack" Pershing arrives in France with the first contingent of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) to enter the war in Europe.
  • 1917 - The War Revenue Act establishes graduated personal income and excess profits taxes and higher postal rates.
  • 1917 - The Trading with the Enemy Act establishes an office of Alien Property Custodian to handle enemy property in the US, most of which is sold. Trading with the enemy is prohibited, and all imports are placed under control of the War Trade Board.
  • 1917 - The American Association of Advertising Agencies is formed.
  • 1918 - The War Department buys the entire output of Bull Durham tobacco. The American Tobacco Company advertises, "When our boys light up, the Huns will light out."
  • 1918 - A New York toy firm begins manufacturing the Raggedy Ann doll; the doll soon grows into a $20-million-a-year business.
  • 1918 - The New York Times begins home delivery.
  • 1918 - The War Finance Corporation is established to help banks finance the operation of war industries.
  • 1918 - The National War Labor Board is established to settle labor disputes and avoid interruption of war production.
  • 1918 - The first test kitchen in an ad agency is created in the Chicago office of the J. Walter Thompson Company.
  • 1918 - The federal government takes control of the nation's telephone and telegraph systems.
  • 1919 - The trade magazine Printer's Ink cautions against "an insidious campaign to create women smokers" in reaction to the portrayal of women in 'smart social settings' in cigarette ads. The first organized advertising campaign directed towards women would not come about until 1927; however, women were pictured in cigarette ads previous to this date.
  • 1919 - George Whelan Tobacco Products acquires Phillip Morris & Company, Ltd. Inc. and its cigarette brands of Cambridge, Oxford Blues, English Ovals, Players, and Marlboro.
  • 1919 - Manufactured cigarettes surpass smoking tobacco in poundage of tobacco consumed.
  • 1919 - The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquors.
  • 1919 - To help stem rampant inflation, the administration of President Woodrow Wilson seizes and distributes food that had been stored in warehouses in several cities. Producers had stored the food as a way of keeping food prices high.
  • 1919 - Since the passage of the child labor provision in the federal tax code in April, child labor is reduced by 40 percent, particularly in the coal mining and canning industries.
  • 1919 - The nation's first municipal airport opens in Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1920 - Drug, toilet, and household preparations output for domestic consumption is $765 million, up from only $40 million in 1879.
  • 1920 - Almost 2 million passenger cars are sold in America.
  • 1920 - The Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote, is ratified.

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